Saturday, May 09, 2009

07Mar1866, Meeting Lowe and Carlyle

LONDON, March 7th, 1866.
—We dined at Mr. Bob Lowe's, which was very pleasant. He is immensely clever, agreeable, and humorous, but rubbed me up the wrong way with his bitter, low view of people and politics. Afterwards for a little while to Ly. Russell's drum, against my grain ; but it was a necessary civility. Was introduced to Carlyle who launched into a broad Scotch troll on Reform to F. An odd, shrewd, rough, weatherbeaten face, and an astonishing choker ! . . .

We dined at Ly. Cowper's, meeting her sons and daughters, Lord Houghton, Mr. Trevelyan, Mr. Barrett Browning , Mr. Stanhope , and Froude the historian who looks very clever and great, and is young and handsome, which I shouldn't have expected. F. to the perpetual House after dinner : I stayed on into a small party that dropped in, and talked to Mr. Cowper, Froude himself, and a Yankee called Lockwood, of agreeable manners.

06Mar1866, Bride: Measles, Groom: Gout

LONDON, March 6th, 1866.
—We dined at Ld. Granville's ; his little wife is a most winsome, pretty creature, with a bright sunshiny manner, and I should think plenty of character. It isn't proper for a bride to have the measles, and a bridegroom the gout ! but it has been their case. We met clever young Mr. Trevelyan (I should like to know once for all how to spell his name !).

03Mar1866, A Party During Lent

LONDON, March 3rd, 1866.
—Had to go, as an inevitable civility, to a party at Lady de Grey's as we had refused 3 other invitations of hers. I had the Lentums, and didn't like it at all ! Dinners feel much less frivolous to me : connected quiet talk, saving of trouble (and expense !) at home, and early getting away, and no squash or roar, or crowd of footmen, linkmen, and unwashed, gaping and shouting outside. I am glad to say we saved Sunday by ½ a minute.

02Mar1866, Glimpses of the Deep, Wide Misery

LONDON, March 2nd, 1866.
—Many calls in the afternoon ; last but not least, upon George, Mary, Agnes, and Bertram Talbot ; who were all at home and delighted to see me and a picture-book I brought. They were sitting like olive-branches round about the table, at tea : all blooming, merry, and rosy. O such contrasts to a poor tiny whose mother came this morning for a beef-tea ticket ; and whose little year of life seemed to have been all suffering and cold and starvation. I have been thinking of it revived by the good beef-tea ; but it is terrible to know that I only see glimpses of the deep, wide misery all round us, and can hardly do any good.

27Feb1866, Refreshed by One's Comforts

LONDON, February 27th, 1866.
—I drove with Auntie P. and a Miss Smith in an excellent Greek Madame Ralli's carriage, she coming too. We went 1st to the London Hospital, where we talked and read to divers poor men and some poor little children ; then to the workhouse, a paradise of freshness, good order, and comfort compared with S. Martin's. I am to have a ward of decrepit old men, who enjoyed some peppermints I brought. There are 850 in the House. The chaplain showed me the oakum-picking room, crowded with women, some looking horrid enough, poor souls !
We dined at D. House : I hope it is not wrongly selfish to feel refreshed by one's comforts and pleasant refined things after going a little into the depths. One knows the poor people do not crave for these things, and one has been trying to cheer them ; still, it feels selfish.

26Feb1866, St. George's-in-the-East

LONDON, February 26th, 1866.
—London House. I have undertaken to go once a fortnight to St. George's-in-the-East workhouse.

22Feb1866, Funds for Princess Helena

LONDON, February 22nd, 1866.
—I got smuggled into the House, and heard Uncle Wm. speak upon the Queen's messages about granting money to Princess Helena on her marriage, and to Prince Alfred on his coming-of-age. He did it well, speaking of what Princess Helena had been to the Queen, which I know something of. She is to have £6,000 a year, and £30,000 down, which is rather stingy, considering how poor her marriage is : Prince Alfred £15,000 a year. Then Uncle Wm. delivered "a fine panegyric" on Lord Palmerston, proposing a monument to him in the Abbey. He did it very well. Then came Jamaica and Cattle-plague ; dull enough. We dined quite promiscuous at Ly. James' ; as did the Gladstones, and I enjoyed hearing and seeing something of Uncle Wm. again. He is certainly not yet overdone by the Leadership ! but in great force.

18Feb1866, Cockney Damsels

LONDON, February 18th, 1866.
—Bright pleasant frost : a real enjoyment it was. Mazy and I fired away a class at one of the S. Martin's schools ; I was a good deal taken off my legs by the coolness and talkativeness of my pale-faced cockney damsels who were very ready to put me in the right way. The row was great, and my numbers unmanageable, so I did not make a satisfactory start. S. Martin's in the morning (as it always is, unless I say to the contrary) ; Mr. Helps called, and made us late for 3 o'clock Abbey ; so we poked in upon M. and then pounded off to S. Paul's, where was a big congregation. Two pretty baptisms which brought tears to my eyes, so foolishly did I long to see a baby of our own christened.

16Feb1866, Cattle Plague Rages

LONDON, February 16th, 1866.
—Cattle-plague rages in the House : a very stringent Bill is being passed, forbidding all movement of cattle along railways, and ordering the immediate slaughter of all diseased beasts. It is poor, science having entirely failed to find a remedy. There is rather a plausible one up just now, discovered by a Mr. Worms ; a mixture of onions and asafoetida (nice it must be !), but people don't trust it. We dined at home, then F. to the House till 1.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

13Feb1866, The Lower Class and the Upper Class

LONDON, February 13th, 1866.
—I crammed my day pretty full. First did books ; then went to Mrs. Humphrey's who took me to see their capital schools ; mem. especially, a little school held in the roof of a mission-chapel lately built in a squalid street, where they get hold of wretched neglected children. At, 12 I found myself with the Mesd. Talbot in their delightful soup-kitchen, which they have set up in Westminster. Poor people (not beggars) are given tickets, on showing which and paying a sum not exceeding 2d. they get good meat, soup, beef-tea, or pudding of at least twice the value of what they pay. Fred is going to be treasurer. Got home to luncheon, where we entertained Mr. St. Aubyn who is going to be married. May Lascelles came to see me about 4, after which I smiled for a few minutes upon a little tea-business at Auntie P.'s, and then drove off to S. Ann's National Schools, Limehouse, where a most charming, successful "mission tea-party" was held, under the auspices of my dear Miss Lilley, and the other good folk. Was glad to see Sarah Dorrington the 2nd mission woman looking busy and bright, but, alas ! not well. There were 210 women and 49 babies ! I poured out for one table. Had to go off directly after tea, hearing only one chorus, to my grief : but as it was, in spite of getting home by superhuman exertions in 35 minutes, I arrived after 8, with His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, the Secretary of War, the Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, and Mr. Charles Howard, M.P., to entertain at dinner. I was a little jeered. But would not have missed the tea-party.

12Feb1866, Ambassador Charles Adams

LONDON, February 12th, 1866.
—We had luncheon at the Speaker's, meeting the Adams (American Minister) and Dr. Vaughan. Mrs. Adams tickled me by saying "vāgăries" and "dēcŏrous." . . . Workhouse. Went to the House to hear Cattle-plague debate. We dined snug together, then F. to the House again, and I to Dudley House ball with the Gladstones, which felt rather mad. Ly. Dudley too lovely.

10Feb1866, Religion-that-will-suit-all-creeds

LONDON, February 10th, 1866.
—Wonderfully warm : the poor silly buds are on the burst. We chose a pretty quaint bit of old china for a tardy wedding-present to Lady Granville. F. dined in full figg at the Speaker's. I sponged a dinner at the G.'s, where were Glynne uncles ; the Rev. one high gee Convocation, as is his wont ! I can't but be sorry (daresay I'm wrong) at Convocation snubbing down all and any "conscience" clause by a great majority. The plain justice of giving dissenters (whose tax-paying goes to support the school) the option of withdrawing their children from the religious instruction of a Church school, while they profit by the secular, in the few cases where it is impossible for them to have a school of their own, seems undeniable. The mass of the clergy will stop their ears to the whole thing. If they won't propose or admit any right "conscience" clause like what I have described, they will have some horrid religion-that-will-suit-all-creeds one forced upon them willy-nilly [FN: "Came too true" (added later).].

07Feb1866, Cavendish to the War Office

LONDON, February 7th, 1866.
Cavendish got a mysterious scrap from Ld. Granville yesterday or the day before, containing the words : "Of course I congratulate you." Not being aware that he was going to be married, the Markiss was puzzled ; but lo and behold ! the cat is out and he succeeds Ld. De Grey in the War Office, to the satisfaction of all parties, which is a fine thing for a man of 32. He has gained a well-deserved character for hard work and knowledge of his business as Under Secretary. Lord Dufferin succeeds him. The Duke dined with us, and looked over the moon and very proud ; also Uncle G.and Eddy dined, and we were very snug.